Located a stone's throw from the Cathedral in Hanoi, we chose this hotel because of its apparent clean facade. The lobby of the hotel is decked in white and the rooms looked white and clean, at first. Because most hotels, like this one offers complimentary breakfast, that is not a major differentiator in Hanoi. However, attention to detail and cleanliness makes or breaks it for me. Initially, everything looked okay but after two nights, details come into focus.
I usually shower in hotels but, after walking around in colder-than-usual Dec weather, I wanted to take a hot bath. Although the white tub looked clean to the eye, I ran my hands on the side of the tub and realized that it hadn't been properly scrubbed or wiped down - there was scum on it. If anything, the maids just ran water over the tub after the last occupant used it and did not bother to actually clean or wipe it down. Gross! Because I didn't have a scrubber and had not expected an uncleaned bathtub, I spent about 5 minutes using the small hand towel and hot water to clean the tub properly. After I thoroughly cleaned the tub, I ran the hot water again for my bath. Sadly, the hot water supply was limited from my cleaning and the hot water was no longer available. I turned off the hot water and waited for it to reheat but, even after thirty minutes, the hot water was no longer hot, just tepid. Okay, lesson learned is that if you are thinking of staying at the church hotel, either take showers with your own flip flops on or bring your own scrubber and cleaner so that you can clean the bathtub and take a tepid bath.
There were only three or four rooms on each floor. As a result, I expected it to be quiet, but it wasn't. Whenever another hotel guest entered or exited their room, you could hear it. It felt as if our front door was wide open, but it wasn't. I guess it was the thin walls or thin door.
The hotel staff were very friendly and nice, but that is generally true everywhere we went in Hanoi.
We asked the hotel to arrange car service to the airport for our early morning flight. Because we would be leaving before 6 am, when breakfast starts, the hotel reception asked if we wanted a breakfast basket to go. We didn't have high hopes but we expected something edible.
The breakfast basket included two pieces of bread, a banana, ham and an egg. If we had opened the basket in the taxi and proceeded to eat, we would have gotten sick. Fortunately, we waited until we arrived at the airport and in the light of the airport terminal, we opened our baskets and discovered that the bread the hotel put in our basket was filled with mold. We ate the banana, which looked okay, but threw the rest in the garbage. It made me wonder if the hotel did not care to pay attention because we were leaving.
When we got to the airport, the taxi driver arranged by the hotel dropped us off at domestic departure instead of international departure. He seemed to be in a hurry to drop us off and leave. We saw the hotel staff paying him after he loaded our luggage into the taxi so maybe he had no incentive to drive us a little farther to the international departure. If you are taking car service from a hotel, double-check before you get out of the taxi that he/she is dropping you off at the correct place.
From a boutique hotel, we excepted more. The uncleanliness of the bathtub and the molded bread makes me wonder what other shortcuts the hotel takes that most visitors would not realize until it's too late. I won't be recommending or going back to this hotel again.
- Also Known As:
- Church Hotel Hanoi
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The centre of Catholicism in Hanoi is the beautifully dilapidated neo-Gothic, St Joseph’s Cathedral. Built in the early days of the colony at the expense of a revered pagoda that was demolished in the name of France's mission civilisatrice, St Joseph’s opened its doors to worshippers in 1886. Many of the buildings in and around the area were built in the service of the cathedral in the late 19th century. Built as Presbytery House, the hotel was one of Old Quarter’s first edifications of the Cathedral – converted into a hotel in 2002 set the standard for hotels that followed. Ten years later, after undergoing a multi-million dollar renovation, this is Old Quarter’s newest boutique hotel. The original Church Boutique Hotel Nha Tho is a sanctuary of sumptuous dining, and self-indulgent relaxation, on the heart of the Old Quarter.Eco-friendly Operations - Green initiatives have been implemented throughout the hotel including a key card activated energy systems in rooms. Church Boutique Hotel 's Corporate Responsibility is minimize waste and use eco-friendly products is our commitment to promoting our strong position in protecting the environment. A great effort has been put in place to avoid wasting our valuable resources by implementing energy efficiency lighting system throughout the hotel, linen and water conservation scheme. ... more less
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